Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Higher, Higher than the Mountain

Sue and I drove to Saratoga Springs to meet up with #1 son Keith, who flew in from Denver. After a good lunch at the Old Bryan Inn, we set out for a three day holiday in Lake Placid NY.

Following a good night sleep, and a breakfast bagle with coffee, Sue and Keith set off for a day long hike. I, on the other hand, decided on a 35 mile bike ride recommended by the local bike shop. The signs told of a good ride to follow right from the get go.

The ride was wonderfull and at the twenty mile mark the directions from the bike shop said take a right on rt. 73 go up the hill and turn right again.

Take a right here, up the hill and 14 easy miles to home

HA!!! Hill???? Hill???? This so called hill was a "beyond category" mountain. This picture may not do it justice. You had to be there. The first 6 miles were a 12% incline with very little edging.

It was what novice overweight riders call "a bitch". I wanted to do the climb but when I ran out of water and did not know the probability of getting more I decided to call Keith for a ride. When he picked me up and we drove the remaining miles, I realized I had made a good decicion. Too difficult, too far and no fuel.

The following day Keith and I did the same ride, sans hill. Around 22 miles or so of some really spectacular riding and scenery. Rivers

Buildings and unusual sights were abundant.

A neat looking log cabin

A Navajo Lodge

Old bikes near the bridge

A biker friendly market

The territory seemed vast, the roads were long, and Keith and I had it all pretty much to ourselves.

Just the start and already have come a long way

Ride toward the mountain

No traffic

There were some places that really show perspective of man vs nature.

Keith at Whiteface Mountain

The wonder of nature and evolution

Another perspective

The ride wasn't without a glitch or two. This is where bike maintanence courses come in handy.

Keith performing saddle maintanence

Checking directions

We know where we came from

Which way do you think?

The ride was a little under 2 hours taking us 22 miles of some of the best riding I have done. I guess its all in the company you keep. I did get some great pointers, from Keith who is a hardcore rider of the mountains of Colorado, which explains these calfs.

We arrived at our destination, Keene NY as opposed to the picinic Keene in NH next week.

Old barn in Keene Valley

Old Grey got me through another adventure

The vastness of the Adarondecks

Keith and Sue reliving the last couple of days.

Next Adventure, Biking Little Compton, Rhode Island
See you soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Couldn't decide on the Fort Rodman or Rock O Dundee route, so did both. Passed a rider with no helmet, no clipless pedals and wearing sandals. He went farther than I thought he would. Passed him on Russles Mill Rd. Saw him go by Dairy Chief while I stopped for a cone of frozen pudding and saw him again near Glenns house on Smith 'Neck. Stopped to talk to Kevin and refill water bottles. Keven has gotten a little diesel from working in the fish house.

He is playing football at Dartmouth High School{{{{sad}}}}. He is not much of an athlete, so football is the right choice for him. Other than that, he is a nice kid.

Some hammerhead passed me good on Dartmouth St. Met Sue and Donna a Ft. Rodman where I stopped for fries and gave most of them away to a couple of kids at the snack bar. They appreciated them and thanked me a couple of times.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Behind Locked Gates

If you take the time to check, some places that looked locked are just that. They look like they are locked but access is still easy. Such was the case on a recent ride.
I had every intention of riding the Fort Rodman Loop, but as is the case very often, I was distracted. It looked like most of the fleet was in port this day. Hundreds of fishing and scallop boats were docked.

While on Pier 2, I stumbled upon a boat who had to return for some paperwork. The man on the dock was talking to them as they approached. I was evesdropping and found I understood him, but the crew of the boat was talking a language I just couldn't quite make out. When they got up close I realized it was a deep southern accent and they were from the gulf coast of Texas. It was the contrast between the guy on the dock and the one on the boat that threw me. Fisherman have phrases and dialect that we don't hear anywhere else. Things like, fine-is-kind. In southern it sounds like "fahhhn-is-kaaaaan, and in Norwegian, fnyin-is-knyin. So here is the boat.

There was a production company doing some filming at the head of the pier. Two spots were set up. One for the interview and one for a couple of guys playing music.

The director giving us a smile

Behind the scenes

Trying to fanagle myself into camera view

The host of the show. We made eye contact and she smiled for me

The technical van and the "best boy"

A different route home took me behind some old factories on the river front. Trash everywhere, and the water was not at all inviting. But it was a very unique perspective. None of the pictures were very good. I may go back there again some day. Then again, maybe not. I did find this little house along the banks.

That route did find me this gem. Hidden near the rear of the cemetary on the banks of the Acushnet River.

A dead, Sox fan.



Monday, August 22, 2005

The Day Was Sultry

Ignoring the threat of thunderstorm, (they never materialize), Sue and I took a ride to the center of Fairhaven and down by the waterfront.
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Haze surrounds Palmers Island Light

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Blue fish hit a school of minows.
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While the front moves ever closer

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Fishing boat returns to port
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Unloading catch at Town Wharf.

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Looking back into time from the Town Wharf]

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The lobster fleet has also returned to safe harbor

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Girl Scout Island. Off the marshes of Little Bay.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Riding Has Been at a Premium

Finding time to ride has been difficult during July and the same is happening in August. I really thought that I would have around a thousand more miles than my odometer shows. Nothing to do about that except move on.

Yesterday (Sunday) saw a weather forcast of temps above 100F. An early morning ride was necessary to beat the heat and allow me to attend grand neice's baby shower. At the shower I met nephew Matt. He was as surprised he had a great uncle as I was to have a great nephew. I though all the kids were girls. No offence Matt, that's what happens when we are out of touch. Brittany has a very contentious bone to pick with here friends and family.

With the humidity just as brutal as the temperature, Brit was force to sit outside and open her gifts. I still don't see the reason to do that at the shower. Guy thing I suppose. It's just the way things are. Oooo!, booties. Ooooo!, a bottle. Ooooo! it's freakin hot.

The morining ride was a slow paced 10 miles or so. I say or so, because when I got a flat last week I lost my odometer while replacing the tube. Years ago, we always had to flip the bike over to work on them. With quick release tires, that is no longer necessary. I flipped mine over out of habit and paid the price. (Of a new odometer) $20 bucks.

The Tall Ship Bounty was docked at the state pier in New Bedford. You may know her from the movie staring Marlon Brando, "Mutiny on the Bounty" and more recently "Pirates of the Carribbean", with Johnny Depp.
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This is what a hazy hot humid day looks like. It's around 8AM and the temp is approaching 90F.

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Last week I rode home from work in 3 hours. It was 37 miles and I stopped a few times to take pictures and breaks. Since then I have met and talked with the owner of Travis Cycle in Taunton. He gave me an alternate route that took me through the opposite end of the city and through some spectacular country roads. As a bonus, he knocked off 6 miles. He does the ride in 90 minutes. It took me two hours four minutes today. I'm going to do it again and should be able to knock of a few minutes.

The beginning of the route still takes me through the Taunton State Hospital grounds. This is where I had my first of two "faceoffs". The roads are very seldom traveled and as I was approaching the curve to the exit a skunk came scampering across my path. We both stopped and the little critter looked at me and bowed,(Like a dog does when he wants to play), casually turned and slowly walked back into the brush. I tried desperately to get a picture but was not quick enough.

The second encounter was with three miniature doberman pincers. They tried to act tough but are just so tiny you really can't take them seriously. The owner came to my rescue by calling them into the house as I was getting my camera out of the bag. Next time I'll be ready for them and get a couple of good photos.

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A short cut road through the asylum. Just keep moving

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J&J Seafood is a little more than half way home. One of these days I'll have to try the place out.